Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Harlequin MIRA
Released on April 1, 2013
This was a short introductory piece that did its job well by giving me a taste of what I could expect in ‘A Spear of Grass’. This is not my first rodeo with this author so I went into this story with a high level of expectation and was not disappointed. The author has the ability to immerse the reader thoroughly in her storytelling. By the time one is through reading they have been to a place, gotten to know the characters who live there and joined them for their story. It’s always such a treat.
The story is told from Ryder White’s perspective and takes place just after WWI in Kenyan Africa. Ryder may be Canadian by birth, but he’s African by choice. Africa is doing its part of healing him from the devastation he witnessed during the war and helping him come to terms with the future. But he isn’t the only fragile survivor. His friend, Jude, is also trying to muddle through. Her husband who is also Ryder’s best friend disappeared in action during the war and never made it back. She has waited for him, but still no word and now she needs to move on. Their mutual friend sends them both into Nairobi for a Christmas celebration to have some fun.
This brings them into contact with a minor prince and his desire to snare a leopard on safari, his lady who has eyes for Ryder and a jaded world view, and a gentleman who thinks the world of Jude. Something happens out in the bush that may alter all their lives.
As I read this story I was so pleased because it had a Jack London feel to it and I adore Jack London’s tales. Ryder is the reluctant hero type who is the guy that just wishes to be let be, but finds himself in the middle of heroic adventures without trying. He doesn’t form many attachments, but the few he has are strong. It was great getting inside his head and watching the story unfold from his perspective. Jude and Tusker, Jude’s aunt, along with Gideon the Massai are his circle of friends and they are great characters too. There are a few dangling story lines that I look forward to pursuing when I get to the novel.
Though this isn’t a historical romance, it is the set up for one so I’m going to recommend it to Historical Romance lovers particularly those who enjoy this post-WWI time period in an exotic location.